Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tobacco And The Economy (Tid Bits)

The tobacco growers demand from the President to impose a veto on the amendments, along with keeping jobs in the sector, and protecting investments in the country's business.

Accepting the WHO’s recommendation to say no to tobacco seems too early without considering the implications for tobacco farmers. It will crash their economy and increase the percentage of people living in poverty, which has decreased in 2012 in Indonesia. 

Soedaryono, the general chairman of AMTI (Indonesian Tobacco Society Alliance), was quoted by Rimanews on May 28 as saying, “We urge the government to listen to our voice as the tobacco farmers and part of Indonesian society rather than receive an agriculture policy that is incomprehensible. This is an external force that does not understand the real situation.” 

The industry was formalised eight years ago after the government initiated Operation Murambatsvina.

Albert Munemo, a kitchen unit-maker, said the influx of farmers bringing the crop to auction floors had resulted in an upsurge in business.

He, however, said since the decline in tobacco deliveries, business was slowing down.

“Business is very slow now. Maybe people have no money, but we benefited from tobacco farmers. Now they are gone,” Munemo said.

The head of House of Representatives Commission IX, which oversees health matters, on Thursday criticized some nongovernmental organizations for receiving funding from the Bloomberg Initiative, a global tobacco control effort.

“For example, ICW [Indonesian Corruption Watch], which is concerned about eradicating corruption, is instead receiving foreign donations,” Ribka Tjiptaning said. “They are prostituting their own nation. We know how they get money.”

She said that ICW had received $45,470 in July 2010 to bolster an anti-tobacco campaign mainly aimed at reshaping tobacco regulation in Indonesia.

Ribka said the funding was also meant to support the government’s plan to issue a tobacco control bill amid criticism that the regulation threatened some 15 million Indonesian tobacco farmers whose lives depended on the tobacco industry.

Senator John Crown has said the manufacturing and sale of tobacco products should be banned by 2025.

The senator, who is also a consultant oncologist, said the measures should be adopted at a European level.
He said placing a ban on the manufacturing and sale of cigarettes  should be a long-term goal. 

Senator Crown said  "It will give the companies time to re-tool the machines to make something else.

"This is a time when the world is short of food. Imagine all that agricultural land being used to produce cancer causing tobacco instead of being used to grow food

Imagine the lack of tax revenue Imagine the lack of jobs. 

I always wondered how many people were employed by the large tobacco manufacturers or how many people grew tobacco.

None of these things seem to matter to these people 

Their lack of vision is astounding and their prejudice blinds them to the truth that anyone can plainly see.

Just from an economic standpoint calling for this is shortsighted,foolish and painfully stupid.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Businesses Face Choice In Smoking Ban

Businesses Face Choice In Smoking Ban

Duffy’s Pub & Grub, 717 S. Huntington St., Syracuse, will remain a smoking establishment. A sign on the door reads, “Notice to all customers: Effective July 1, 2012, we will no longer have a family room. You must be 21 years or older to enter our facility.”
Owner Greg Greed said the decision was a financial one, and an easy one at that. “Economically, adults that smoke bring in more money to my facility,” he said. “Banning it would hurt my business.”
The four or five patrons sitting at the bar Tuesday afternoon were all smoking cigarettes, agreeing with what Greed said about the ban.
He also said he believes it should be the owner’s decision on whether smoking should be allowed in a restaurant. “I already have enough government in my life,” Greed said, laughing.

Why isn't every business owner and taxpayer allowed this choice?
Wouldn't this just make sense in these tough economic times?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I thought I knew what “science” was about:  the crafting of hypotheses that could be tested and refined through observation via studies that were challenged and replicated by the broader community until the hypothesis is generally accepted or rejected by the broader community.
But apparently “popular science” works differently, if the July 2012 article by Tom Clynes in the periodical of that name is any guide [I will link the article when it is online].  In an article called “the Battle,” Clynes serves up an amazing skewering of skeptics that the most extreme environmental group might have blushed at publishing.  After reading this article, it seems that “popular science” consists mainly of initiating a sufficient number of ad hominem attacks against those with whom one disagrees such that one is no longer required to even answer their scientific criticisms.
The article is a sort of hall-of-fame of every ad hominem attack made on skeptics – tobacco lawyers, Holocaust Deniers, the Flat Earth Society, oil company funding, and the Koch Brothers all make an appearance.

Sounds familiar
The "science " is settled right?
No one can even question it.

This time it was not smoking, but his work on fine particulate air pollution (called PM), especially from diesel engines.  He not only published research that did not conform to the political preferences of his UCLA School of Public Health (SPH) colleagues and their political allies, but pointed out several bits of fraud being committed (by basically the same cabal) in the policy arena. 

I cannot vouch for the accuracy of his PM research, though it sounds credible based on what I know of the subject, which is limited but not nothing.  I do not know whether his results might have been outliers in the current research, though obviously they are what they are.  His second-hand smoke research certainly was good work -- I can vouch for that, and for the fact that it was more similar to the bulk of the evidence than the politicized conventional wisdom is.  Enstrom is a much better scientist, and has ten times the integrity, compared to most people in public health, so I am certainly inclined to believe him about PM.

I hope Enstrom doesn't settle,it would be excellent to see this sort of stuff go before an impartial judge.
But I will say this,I know for a fact that when you deny or ask questions abut these subjects,let's just say pollution and smoking people treat you like you're crazy.
I might not be a great scientist or writer but I do know what I can read and what my life experiences are and they simply don't add up with what I'm being told.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Dutch ignore smoking ban in bars and clubs

The smoking ban in Dutch bars and clubs is being widely ignored, according to the authority responsible for enforcing it. Almost half the caf├ęs in the Netherlands turn a blind eye to smoking customers.

The figures come in a report by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority NVWA based on inspections between December 2011 and May 2012. They authority says customers are still smoking in 49 percent of bars – around the same proportion as in 2011.

I guess you can say anything is banned but that doesn't mean people have to respect it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bits and Pieces

The case of the missing data (Old but still worth a glance)

So, heart disease remains an enigma though the striking rise and fall over the past 50 years is strongly suggestive of a biological cause. No doubt those who smoke or take insufficient exercise or whose cholesterol concentrations are greatly raised may be at "increased risk," but none can be determinant (in the way the putative biological cause clearly must be), which is why the pattern of the disease has changed so dramatically quite independently of them.

Junk Science Week: The obesity paradox

This surmise — the opposite of what you’d hear from your doctor — follows from a startling study of mortality rates among 542,000 hospital patients who suffered their first heart attacks without having had previous cardiovascular disease. The more risk factors that a patient had, the study found, the better the chance of survival.

Someone with all five risk factors that the study looked at had only a 3.6% chance of dying in hospital after an initial heart attack. The chance of dying increased to 4.2% for people with just four risk factors, to 5.3% for those with three risk factors, to 7.9% for those with two risk factors and to 10.9% for those with one risk factor.
What about patients with no risk factors at all? These were the likeliest of all to die — their likelihood of dying in hospital was 14.9%.

Researcher sues UCLA, says his firing was political

Some of Enstrom's research provoked much debate as he suggested that the negative health impacts of some pollutants had been exaggerated to impose draconian rules on industry. He also contends he is a victim of retribution for exposing wrongdoing on the state air pollution board. He previously encountered opposition to his research, funded in part by the tobacco industry, that said the health risks of secondhand cigarette smoke were not as bad as other health advocates had portrayed them.

UCLA administrators "discriminated against Dr. Enstrom based on his ideological and political affiliations and sought to purge an academic dissenter from their ranks," according to the lawsuit, which also is seeking financial damages and reinstatement.

Islamists in north Mali burn cigarettes, whip smokers

Islamists from an Al-Qaeda offshoot in northern Mali have confiscated and burned cartons of cigarettes and whipped those caught smoking as they enforce strict Islamic law, witnesses said Friday.

"Things really got lively on Friday, Islamists from MUJAO (Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa) took cartons of cigarettes that were on sale and set them alight," said Moussa Guindo, who works for the town council in Bourem.

A youth from the north Mali town, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "I received 40 lashes because I was smoking and continued to smoke after I was told not to."

A civil servant in the town, also asking not to be named, said he was whipped even though he was not smoking.

"It was my friend who was smoking but they whipped both of us saying that the cigarette is Satan. Shopkeepers who still have cigarettes hide them and to smoke, you have to hide," he said.

I’m referring to the 2008 law that mandated the posting of calorie counts in the city’s chain restaurants. When researchers studied the law’s effect, they “found that people had, in fact, ordered slightly more calories than the typical customer had before the labeling law went into effect.”
In other words, Bloomberg is contributing to–or at least doing nothing productive to fight–obesity in the city. No one should pretend this is good health policy when our empirical research (not to mention common sense) tells us this isn’t.
Already, though, the union representing about 45 CBSA employees at the airport is concerned personal workplace conversations and remarks could be captured and become part of employees' official record, Jean-Pierre Fortin, national president of the Custom and Immigration Union, said Friday. He added that the union only learned of the audio-recording development this week, after reporters began making inquiries.
In the study, urine samples that contained minute amounts of any of five baby soaps — Johnson & Johnson's Head-to-Toe Baby Wash, J&J Bedtime Bath, CVS Night-Time Baby Bath, Aveeno Soothing Relief Creamy Wash and Aveeno Wash Shampoo — gave a positive result on a drug screening test  for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana.
The researchers began their investigation after nurses at a North Carolina hospital reported an increase in the number of newborns testing positive for marijuana .
The amount of soap in the urine needed to produce a positive test result was tiny, less than 0.1 milliliters, the researchers said.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tobacco will one day be outlawed worldwide, says expert

As for the “numbered days of organized tobacco,” Hausner said that public opinion surveys in New Zealand show that twothirds of the public – including many smokers – advocate complete abolition of the import, manufacture, sale and use of tobacco products so it becomes a “completely tobacco-free country.” Other countries will follow, he said, adding that he hoped Israel would eventually be among them.

The same term, abolition, was used in mid-19th century America, when slavery was legal, regarded as economically beneficial and widely supported in the South. But just a few years later, slavery was completely abolished – as if it never happened. The same, said Hausner to much applause, can happen with smoking.

“Today, we are in the midst of an irreversible process that will lead to the termination of organized tobacco,” he said.

“The environment will be completely tobacco-free. This is what people all over the world want.”

I'd have to disagree with this man.

If I were to go by what the people I see and speak to on a daily basis I'd have to say what they most want is just to be left alone.

No one I know wants to be told how to live,what to eat how to behave as though they are nothing more than children.

People I know who are adults know the decisions they make in life have consequences and they accept them and live by them.

If someone wants to fucking smoke then let them smoke.

If someone wants a fifty five ounce cup of soda let them have it.

If someone wants to load a steak up with half a shaker of salt then so be it.

I'll never understand this mentality behind treating grown adults as if they don't even know their own minds.

And honestly telling people they stink or they will look bad if they smoke is a truly juvenile way to deal with this.

I thought tobacco control the world renowned experts in why we behave the way we do (ha ha) could have come up with something better than bullying,persecuting,lying to and vilifying smokers.

They act like spoiled children who aren't getting their own way.

Stamping their feet and telling Mommy and Daddy they could stop the bad people if only,if only they had more money.

And after all it's what they're all about right?

More money....................

O.K. I'm done ranting.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

On Food

I mentioned before that I work in retail.
I just never mentioned what sort of retail,oddly enough I work in the food industry.

It's not exciting or glamorous and definitely not fun,but being on the inside of the food industry even on the retail level means you get to see you know trends and how things will start to be in the future.

It wasn't too far back that I can remember the schools here started a policy of no junk allowed in kids lunches they could take a fruit snack in their lunch and  vegetable (but not potato) chips.
A complete meal was a grain,a meat,a dairy and fruit and or vegetable.

We never heard about the sorts of things you see so commonly now where teachers had to check kid lunches.

That's disturbing......

But other things I remember that didn't seem to mean too much at the time have started making so much more sense now that I step back from it and truly look at it objectively.

I did notice that in the last few years Coke and then pepsi came out with their cute mini 8 pack cans.

I remember being sort of shocked last year when people tried blaming obesity on breakfast cereals.

Of course there was the soda hoopla not too long ago.

Which makes me wonder of course if back in the beginning if you looked closely enough if you could see patterns emerging in the war on tobacco.

I'm sure looking back it was sort of evident but who ever would have believed it would have gone as far as it has?

Certainly not the "obese" people.

Because there is no"slippery slope" right?

And you know the Anti Food crowd and the Anti Tobacco crowd don't learn from one another....

Sunday, June 3, 2012

"Tobacco" Kills Housewife

Tobacco kills housewife

After marriage the couple shifted to Viveknagar, as Srinivas was working in jewellery showroom in Abids. Within a year Lavanya picked up the habit of chewing gutka and paan and became an addict.
This deeply upset Srinivas, as he never used any such intoxicants and would chide Lavanya for her bad habits. The couple used to quarrel often on this issue.
Apart from worrying about her health, Srinivas was angry that Lavanya, instead of being the role model that she should be, consumed these products in the presence of their children.
Their disagreement reached a peak and Srinivas along with the children moved to his parents’ house. “However, instead of leaving the bad habits, she chose to leave this world,” says Vittal Rao, explaining her extreme step.
Lavanya poured kerosene on her body and set herself ablaze. 

No expert on tobacco but I know both Gutka and Pann are both forms of a type of smokeless tobacco .
Instead of acceptance she was berrated for being a bad role model by using oral tobacco in front of her children.

This isn't drinking in front of a child,it's not beating a child or forcing a child to go to work it's none of the things you associate a being neglectful or abusive but still it's frowned upon and she is not exactly shown as being a good person or even a person at all.

This poor woman did the most unthinkable thing anyone could ever do and she is being used as a cuationary the against the evils of addiction

I guess its the same everywhere and nicotine is the boogieman the one to be afraid of the one who will get you in the end.

To me the saddest part of all of it is that it doesn't seem like "tobacco killed " this woman ,it seems like society and her own family dove her to try and escape this in the worst possible way.
I also know the article says her last statement was that the addiction that lead to the situation,but I don't believe that's entirely accurate,I believe people can be pushed to extremes by the people who are supposed to love them the most.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

How It's Justified

Maybe I'll start this differently  telling you some weird things I have seen will make this easier I think,maybe not for you if you happen to be unlucky enough to read this but for me.

I had a boss once,he was a strange guy,he used to carry a small notebook in his pocket and wander around watching us as we worked.
One day I remember someone made him furious and he pulled out his little notebook and while he was standing where all of us could hear him he said "That's it,you're on my list."
The man was so insane and so controlling that he had  a list of people who he imagined had wronged him .
I can remember thinking  well now I know and now I have to watch myself around this man because I can never be sure exactly  what is going to make him come unglued.

I should probably mention that I work in retail and that this man has become a manager since this incident.
I know people who were on his list and many have been refused to have product enter his stores ect.
I worked for a selfish ,petty man who couldn't stand to be disagreed with,couldn't stand to not be the ultimate authority in his little world of retail and  controlling others that he made lists daily of those he would get even with if he had the chance.

I don't mention this to clarify things for you but I want to make sure that I explain this right or hell half right if that's even possible.

Last night I happened to be on twitter,I follow a large portion of the people in my sidebar on twitter because we share interest in the same things and I enjoy reading the things they write very much.
Christopher Snowdon was tweeting something pretty odd at Dick Puddlecote.
It appeared to be a small and very badly worded piece of text.(I suck with screenshots so bare with me) describing him as a blogger.
That seemed odd so I went to his twitter page and read what had to be about the oddest thing I had ever read in my life.
Apparently there's a list.
A list full of people (bloggers and libertarians,scientests and people who lobby their governments).
In reality what exists is a list of people who happen to disagree with the things tobacco control calls truth.

All I'm going to talk about here is the unpaid bloggers, because to be honest that is all I know.

When a person starts writing its out of a need I think.

I started blogging because I don't belong.

I think from reading so many of the pro choice blogs for so long that feeling isn't uncommon.
And eventually  if you're very lucky you get to read about how other people feel and when you share the same thoughts and feelings it's like a gift.

And because of great good fortune you find a community of sorts of different voices online and many of them say the things you wish you were clever enough or smart enough to say.

Those blogs become part of your day if your very lucky and you feel a bit less alone.

I think they the people who started this list are doing this to try and toss great gobs of mud at the unpaid bloggers who disagree with them.

It's far easier to discredit your opponent,to cripple them,to bloody them than to fight fairly with them, although with the cash they have at their disposal there is no fair.

There's just people venting their frustration and being harassed for it.

And what bothers ME most is that this sort of thing is how it's justified.

Smoking,Food,Display Bans and Apparently Size Does Matter

Not much besides links I'm afraid.
But considering I'm not a great writer that's probably a very good thing.

Nicotine Addiction~said to be gold ?

I have always had a soft spot for smokers. They are on the frontline of the battle between puritanical wowsers and "live for the moment" hedonists. My real concern is that once the smokers have been wiped out they'll come after us boozers. I used to enjoy sitting in the smoking section of aeroplanes because smokers tend to be drinkers so when I raised my hand for a refill it was one in a sea of raised hands.
The air hostesses would provide a top-up with an indulgent smile. I felt comfortable in the company of fellow hedonists. It also meant I was less likely to be pestered by a fellow passenger intent on sharing his love of the Lord or the latest Amway scheme. Smokers were too busy puffing and guzzling the free grog to bother anyone.

Supreme Court documents show the Zurich-based Nuance Group, the owner of Downtown Duty Free - which eventually pleaded guilty to breaking the law - said section 16 of the act did not apply on constitutional grounds. Section 16 states a person ''must not, in New South Wales … display a tobacco advertisement''.
The company argued the store was not in NSW for regulatory purposes and should therefore be regulated by the Commonwealth Tobacco Act. Its compliance officer believed that under that law tobacco could be displayed in a certain format and remain within the law. Photos taken by a health inspector, Michael Cassidy, show the store placed health warnings above the displays.

The Mayor believes that government has a duty to educate its citizens and even to "nudge" them in the right direction, as the fashionable behaviorial economists like to say. But the real lesson here is that a government that pays most health-care bills will soon be dictating the everyday behavior of its people. An America that needs government to protect its citizens from 20-ounce sodas has bigger problems than obesity.

Because the cases are all about tobacco. 
The way our court system works, the outcome of each of these cases has serious implications for food policy, so it’s critical that advocates concerned about obesity and advertising to children pay attention and maybe even get involved.
In a “common law” system like ours, the decision of one court on one topic area may influence—or even bind—a later court interpreting a similar legal provision. So a court interpreting the First Amendment in a cigarette marketing case could be deciding not just what goes for tobacco but what goes for any product that any company wants to advertise.